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Employee Profile: Ashley Lindstrom

Employee Profile: Ashley Lindstrom

The responsibility of producing a magazine like HerbalGram requires a myriad of tasks. At the center of the activity is the managing editor.

This profile introduces our new managing editor, Ashley Lindstrom. She was hired last year as an assistant editor, but with the departure of our former managing editor—and despite applications from a number of qualified applicants—she was promoted to the position after working at ABC for only one month!

Ashley hails from San Antonio, Texas, and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She is cheerful and friendly, has a unique sense of personal style, and is fully committed to her new position at ABC. A former mezzo-soprano who sang opera and musical theatre in high school, Ashley made her stage debut in college as the titular character in a theatrical adaptation of Mariette in Ecstasy, which she followed up with a role as a homeless junkie in a lab production of Bad Penny. Thanks to a graduate-level elective class, Ashley is ABC’s resident David Lynch expert, and her film column “Critical Darling” appears fortnightly in a San Antonio alternative weekly newspaper. When Ashley isn’t writing, editing, or digging for treasures in a thrift store or vintage clothing shop, she volunteers for the local children’s museum and an avant-garde theatre company.

In her role as managing editor, she responsible for writing and editing articles for both HerbalGram and HerbalEGram (ABC’s monthly e-newsletter), plus other non-serial publications (e.g., news releases, ABC member advisories, etc.). She is also responsible for communicating with authors and potential contributors to HerbalGram and HerbalEGram, as well as coordinating ABC’s extensive peer-review process. (Unlike most peer-reviewed publications which normally rely on 2 expert reviewers, many HerbalGram articles—particularly the features—employ 3-5 or more reviewers. This requires significantly more time from ABC staff to compile reviewers’ comments, communicate with the author(s), and complete the article for layout.)

Ashley also manages the HerbalGram proofreading process, and ensures (with Art Director Matt Magruder) that HerbalGram issues are completed on time with (hopefully) no errors. Ashley is also responsible for maintaining the inventory of all articles and their status in the editorial process, as well as the magazine’s style sheet, which provides instruction and suggestions to HerbalGram contributors.

In addition to the above tasks, and others not listed, Ashley writes her own bylined articles for publication in HerbalGram and/or HerbalEGram, which entails researching subject matter, interviewing sources, writing and editing drafts, soliciting peer review, and occasionally securing photos/visuals to accompany articles. Her favorite topics include ancient plant-based medicine and herbal art.

Having such a full plate is common for employees of a nonprofit organization, where there are always more things to do than there are people to handle them. But Ashley takes the workload in stride, almost relishing it. As she told me one day in my office, “I’m never fully alive unless I’m in over my head.”

–Mark Blumenthal